Sunday, 22 April 2012
London Photographic Association commissioned Kalectiv to make a pilot film for a proposed series of Photography "Master Class" Films. This was filmed on the 19th and 20th April 2012.
The script for this film was written and presented by Barney Edwards who is a member of the London Photographic Association and a director at Kalectiv. The content of the film covers 'Composition' and in it Barney talks about his work and the importance of Composition.
Barney Edwards began his a career as a photojournalist in London’s Fleet Street - covering the middle east , Europe, Mexico , America and South East Asia. Winning the coveted 'Daily Telegraph - Photographer of the year award.'
Barney then became a successful freelance Advertising photographer working for top British, European and American advertising agencies. Sometimes described as ‘the photographers’ photographer’ - he made a reputation for ‘specialising in not specialising’, producing a huge body of work - from portraits to landscapes, reportage and still life. Winning various Campaign Press Awards - two D&AD Silver Awards - two Golds from The Association of Fashion & Advertising Photographers - a New York One Show Award - a Creative Circle Award - and numerous other mentions - as well as being asked to judge on panels for D&AD and The AFEAP Awards.
The film is going into editing and post production on Monday the 23 April and we are looking forward to publishing it on the LPA movingPictures website in the very near future.
Special thanks to:
Kalectiv - Digital Artists & Film Makers.
Direct Photographic for the lighting.
And all who helped to make the film,
DIRECTOR & PRESENTER: Barney Edwards
DOP: John Hicks
CREATIVE DIRECTOR: David Edmunds
PRODUCER: Kevin O’Connor
SOUNDMAN: Don Nelson
GAFFER: Jon Gower
GRIP: Gary Sobczyk
Sunday, 1 April 2012
Silver Single Image Winner
Silver in the single image category of Let's Face It: 8 went to Ross Andersson with this striking portrait. Ross told us about the image, taken a few years ago. "It's a portrait of a subject I photographed frequently a few years ago," he said. "He's a writer and a musician and conveyed a remarkable presence on film. I invited him to my studio and, once he stepped onto set, he just delivered whatever persona that inspired him. It regularly translated into intense and compelling work on film.
I feel the image has a strong aesthetic volition but it's the subject who occupies that dramatic space with equal verve that combines to give this image its unique intensity."
Although Ross shoots fashion and beauty for the commercial photography industry, he considers fine art portraiture his most important personal work. "There are subjects who are able to project a unique persona while concealing an element of their character that inspires curiosity among the viewers," he said. "These are the subjects that interest me. I began shooting portraits in primary school and I think it is a necessary departure for me (from my commercial work) in order to explore new visual representations of people who reveal something unexpected."
Focusing on business, Ross finds social media vital to creating new connections and opportunities for success. He uses the largest and most popular sites, including Facebook and LinkedIn and says he is not shy about connecting with others. "If they have engaging photographs or work in the arts in any capacity, I will connect," he said.
Fashion photography has provided Ross with some interesting commissions. "A year ago I went to the Bahamas for a fashion/swimsuit shoot for a client," he told us. "We decided to shoot on a yacht. I scouted the harbour, found a splendid luxury yacht and negotiated a fee which ended up maxing our budget for a total of one hour of shooting on the boat. We needed three shots in sunlight with a strobe as our key light. The pressure in those situations forces critical thought and decisive action. Everyone worked like a tour de force and we got the shots. And they looked fantastic! Photo productions are like theatre: when something goes wrong you simply ad-lib. You don't even blink. The show carries on!"
Winning the Silver award in Let's Face It: 8 is a great way to mark the start of a busy new season for Ross. He currently has a solo exhibition at the Photo Center in Minneapolis as well as work exhibiting in Vermont and Sydney. The Sydney show will tour Australia and culminate in an exhibition in Hong Kong. "I also have personal projects and the restructuring of my business website along with the construction of my new fine art driven website," he explained. "Finally, I am editing my first feature film: a documentary about inner-city youth boxing clubs in South Minneapolis and Dublin that provide a focus for at-risk, inner-city youth. It will be a busy summer!"
Find out more
http://rossanderssonphotography.wordpress.com (Blog)www.rossandersson.com (Website)
http://rossanderssonphotography.wordpress.com (Blog)www.rossandersson.com (Website)
GOLD WinnerFirst place in the series category of Let's Face It: 8 was given to Maria Konstanse Bruun with this highly personal series illustrating the photographer's own Mother's illness. The series chosen are part of an ongoing project, as Maria explained.
"The images entered for the competition were already in my portfolio. I am pleased with them and they mean a lot to me and, when I saw the competition theme, I thought I would enter them. I am thrilled to learn that others like them too."
The subject of the portraits is Maria's Mother, who is diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. "With the photos I attempt to tell her story and portray some of her pain and feeling of loss over a life that didn't turn out the way she or anyone close to her had envisioned," Maria told us. "It is often hardest to really see that which is closest to you; working on this project has given me a certain distance to my mum and her situation.
The distance has provided me with the chance to see everything in a different light and eventually taught me new things about her and her situation. "The motivation behind the photos has been to put focus on her as a person and not as a patient. I find that our society still seems to suffer from a fear and lack of understanding around mental illnesses. The subject is concealed by many taboos. How come people buy you flowers or send you a card when you break a leg but not when you are breaking down?
"I think perhaps it’s the honesty and the vulnerability in the images that make them strong. Due to the nature of her illness my mum would never trust anyone else to take her photo. I was allowed to get this close to her and take these portraits. No-one else could have taken them."
Maria specialises in documentary, street and art photography and sees the portrait genre fitting into all of those categories. "I am intrigued by good portraits and see them as essential, but in my projects they are usually just one part of a story and not the whole story," she said.
Maria's academic background is a Masters Degree in Social Anthropology, which encouraged her great interest for observing people as part of a group or a culture. She is currently doing a part time Foundation Degree in photography at the Arts University College in Bournemouth. "The course gives me inspiration and pushes me to try new things," she said. "I believe I have to be open to continue developing my photographic skills and vision and I am very open to new projects; if I find something that interests me I am not fussy about what category or work area it belongs to."
Although most of Maria's work has been studio or location based family or corporate portraiture, she has some interesting stories to tell about commercial work. "I was commissioned by the Norwegian Peace Association to take photos which reflected their work and ideology, for them to use in campaigns," she recalled. "With a low budget, I had to engage friends and family as models. It ended up being proper hands on work: I knitted a peace sign for one shoot and made a peace flag out of old shirts for another. It was great fun and they were very pleased with the result."
Social media forms a central part of Maria's business and marketing plans, although she still values email as the most important form of communication for both personal and commissioned work. "It is all about branding and getting my work and name out there, and I believe we must all take advantage of the potential of social media," she said.
Maria is always working on several photographic projects, from personal conceptual art projects to documentary projects such as street photography ("a great passion and never ending project of mine"). As Mother to an 8-month-old boy, she is always on the look out for new ideas, which may lead to further exploration and projects. "Being a mum changes you as a person and opens new doors in terms of photographic and artistic exploration. My future plans are to keep my eyes and ears open, follow my instincts and see where it leads me," she said.
Find out more
www.mariakonstansebruun.com (personal projects)
www.shootlooseimages.com (commissioned work)
Bronze WinnerBronze in the series category of Let's Face It: 8 went to Alicia Light, with her series exploring how people react to new environments, such as hotels or holiday homes. "I had the idea knocking about in my portfolio, but not the images," she told us. "A competition deadline can give you focus and an impetus to try out an idea, get it out there and have it judged."
Portraiture is a comparatively new venture for Alicia, who first used self portraiture in her application portfolio for the LCC. She immediately felt it was something she wanted to do more of, and explore ways of doing differently. She explained the thought-process behind her love of the genre. "I have always loved acting and dressing up as other people, but I wanted the series to have a social commentary to it," she said, "looking at celebrity and identity. At college, I'd heard the term 'post human' used to describe the time in which we are living.
Thinking about it, there does seem to be a fragmenting process going on, and nowhere is this writ larger than in celebrity culture. If everyone is able to 'be someone', the outcome is an existential shift whereby no-one is anyone. Everyone is everyone again. Except I screw it again by doing all of the poses myself - so everyone is me, really. I guess the series is about how life is ultimately a hall of mirrors."
Alicia is currently studying for a Masters in Photography at LLC, and her background is in writing music for television. She is actively seeking commissions, collaborations and ideas which can be developed into projects.
An avid bloggers, Alicia makes good use of social media, with a website which showcases her work, a photography blog which acts as a holding place for ideas and a craft blog where she promote her other creative projects. "I am still very much at the beginning, learning my trade at the LLC" she said, "The course is demanding, intensive and exciting and I look forward to getting the most out of it. I would like exhibit, but that's not a closed ambition. At the moment I'm very much exploring potentialities and getting to know new people."
Find out more
http://www.shootingattheworld.com/ (photography blog)
http://www.aliceinthegarden.blogspot.com/ (craft blog)
Bronze Single Image Winner
Richard Bradbury was awarded Bronze in the single image category of Let's Face It: 8 with his portrait of music industry heavyweight, Rob Hallett.
"I've entered Let's Face It several times," he told us, "and have had images in the exhibition for the past three years. I usually enter a few images which I feel represent the best work I've done that year. This particular image was shot just days before the competition deadline closed. It couldn't have been more fresh!"
Richard told us the story behind the shoot. "I run a project called The Children of London, now in its third year. Parents can apply with an idea for a photo, I go out on location and shoot the child against a London location, put the images in the book and sell limited editions copies to raise funds for Great Ormond Street. Three copies are reserved for the Queen, the Mayor of London and the Prime Minister.
"One of the people who applied for their child to be featured was a guy called Rob Hallett. I recognised him as someone I'd photographed previously for AEG Live. He's President of International touring for AEG Live, and suggested I shoot a portrait of his son at Wembley Stadium. We became friends and, when he needed a corporate portrait, he came to me. The problem was that he is strongly associated with venues all over the world and couldn't favour one for his portrait. He wanted something creative, so we came up with idea of a night-time neon location, suggestive of the music scene without using a specific venue. Rob is a corporate individual but also a very big name in music, and friends with some of the world's biggest rock stars. It's a difficult line to tread, but we chose this kind of feel for his portrait."
Richard's shot was actually produced in two parts: the Soho background was photographed over two nights as HDR images, combining five different exposures to increase the detail in the shadows and highlights, and some retouching enhanced the background. Then Rob was photographed in Richard's studio, with studio lighting mimicking the light of the outdoor image.
"I really like the colours and detail of this image," said Richard. "Rob has become a friend of mine, and it's always interesting to photograph a friend. It's not quite as objective as with a stranger. I wanted to give him an untouchable feel, suitable for the corporate portrait of someone in his industry and position. Even if you don't know who he is, I think this image gives the impression that this is someone you should know. The pose itself is loosely based on a portrait of James Dean walking down a New York street. Relating back to iconic images sparks a level of respect in the viewer. I'm a huge movie fan, and drama is important to me. I believe pictures should tell a story."
The image was shot on Richard's trusty Canon, something which he thinks would not have been the case just a few years ago. He believes the industry has been revolutionised by the growth of digital. "I started off with a 35mm camera, as you move up the levels learning about medium and large format cameras, you tend to move to them. In fact, I shot everything in medium or large format for about 15 years, and hardly ever picked up my Canon. But, thanks to the digital revolution, it's now all come back round and I shoot almost everything with 35mm these days. It's interesting that this is happening. Previously, I would never have picked up the 35mm camera for a professional job but it's now almost the only tool I use."
Richard has been a photographer for 25 years. He specialises in portrait photography, although he gets involved in all sorts of portraiture commissions. "Successful photography is about niche," he said. "I find photographing people endlessly fascinating, whether it's for adverts, magazines or for my book. I love it all! It's nice to be able to go to both extremes of the industry."
"I didn't train or assist," he told us. "I suppose I just decided to be a photographer one day. I've photographed all over the world, everything from the biggest advertising agencies to Londoners who apply for my book, and that's the way I like it to be. You need to be a lot more versatile in the current market. Budgets are shrinking, on that basis it's been an interesting and trying time. I feel it's made me a better photographer. In retrospect, maybe things were too easy 10 years ago!"
Richard has this advice for new or aspiring photographers: "There is a lot less work around and smaller budgets when you get it. We all need to change the way we approach our work. Take a reality check: the big budgets don't exist. Don't think it's you, because it's not. It's everyone, even the biggest photographers in the world." He advises going back to basics and remembering what drew you to the industry in the first place. "Why did you become a photographer? Go back to why you started, be innovative and create other projects so you're not completely reliant on advertising and editorial clients for revenue. I still shoot both but have had to face facts and innovate."
Social media is an interesting topic for Richard. "You can hang too much importance on social media, the same as any marketing. People still deal with people, no-one will employ you because of a tweet, but there's no denying they may be interested and look at you because of a tweet. You still have to give them a feeling that you understand them. Social media is important, but don't get obsessed with it, just do it. We are on Facebook (Children of London) and Twitter (@children_of_ldn) and we also send out a regular newsletter. This is something I really recommend. We get a great response from our newsletter. My advice is to keep is short, with news articles, interesting content and regular updates. And always ask people to pass it on."
Richard now splits himself between Children of London (childrenoflondon.co.uk, now in its third year and already raised £13,000 for Great Ormond Street) and his commercial work (rbradbury.com). A personal project he recently enjoyed was a shoot of his own daughter, Millie. The 13-year-old (whose portrait featured in last year's Let's Face It) has been signed by Storm modelling agency, and Richard shot the images for her portfolio. "A good friend of mine has an estate in Somerset," he explained. "The property in middle of the forest used to be Mr Blobby's house back in the character's heyday. It's now an incredible place, a completely overgrown theme park! We were able to get some really great shots for Millie's portfolio."
Even after 25 years in the business, Richard firmly believes that enthusiasm is most important thing of all. "It's important to stay incredibly positive, and make sure you're doing this for the right reasons," he said. "Don't lose sight of why you wanted a vocation not a job, enjoy the photographs you take and be proud of what you've done."
Gold Single ImageTop prize in the single image category of Let's Face It: 8 went to Alina Gozin'a the SYDNEY- BERLIN based film stills, editorial and celebrity portraiture photographer. Alina's winning portrait entitled "Monkey Business: The Infinite Monkey Theorem", showing Luke Doolan, Oscar-nominated film director, in his natural creative habitat. Alina told us more about the thought-process behind the shoot.
"Doolan likes the Infinite Monkey Theorem, which suggests that monkeys randomly banging on typewriters for an infinite amount of time would eventually produce the works of Shakespeare," she said. "In this photograph, the same idea is applied for the Australian film industry – which meant only one monkey was afforded and at mates' rates!"
Alina is a film stills and portrait photographer concentrating on photographing people in the arts. She took this image for the purpose of creating something she already had in her mind, but feels this encompasses the image to be entered into portraiture competitions. "I enjoy the calibre of entries of the Let’s Face It competition," she told us.
Although both of Alina's parents were photographers, she preferred history, literature, maths and biology and never did anything creative at school. In fact, she had her heart set on a career in law and got a degree in finance and law, working for Price Waterhouse Coopers in the tax division. "Of course, a few years later, I got terribly depressed about this job and the lifestyle and discovered that what I really want to do is film," she said. ".So I went back to Uni, did a post-graduate diploma in Film Production followed by numerous short courses at the Australian Film School and Photography School and eventually started working on film sets as a film stills photographer. I started taking pictures of people I worked with on film sets: actors, directors, cinematographers, producers, costume designers and so on.
"What interests me is the story telling and therefore many of my images are rather constructed, reminiscent of film set. I like utilising the set and costume design as part of the message. I equally love the timeless essence of simple black and white portraits, with no props, no set design, just the person and their personality."
Alina told us about one editorial commission which stands out in her memory. "Last year, I photographed iconic Australian actor Bryan Brown for a magazine. We could not really get through to him so it was hard to gauge which look and set up he would agree to. He arrived on set sick with the flu and not in the best of spirits. I had prepared six different looks: each had a story behind it and its own set of props. Bryan stood there with his arms crossed, dismissing every story and prop fairly quickly and boldly. Inside I was losing it, but my crew told me that I appeared calm and in control!
"The last prop was a laundry basket with bed linen. Bryan’s face lit up: he uncrossed his arms and he said: “This could work”. I said to him, “well, I got this because from what I read up on you, you are a family man, dedicated to your wife and children...” He said that was true, but revealed that for many years as a young unknown actor he had to do his own laundry on film sets, and that his Mother was a cleaner. "This prop is perfect," he declared. I knew I was going to photograph Bryan in black and white, and I had the laundry basket painted in black and white stripes.
"In the end instead of the 20 min I was supposed to have with Bryan, we shot for an hour. He was only too happy to keep on shooting. We ended up with a wonderful collection of images and he sent me two complimentary tickets to the play in which he was the lead. I look back and think: what if Bryan would not have liked any of the props?
Shooting celebrities could be overwhelming if you let it be. But if you don’t, it can be a wonderful experience."
Alina is now branching out into editorial work, and her goals are to shoot for magazines such as Vanity Fair, Interview, An Other Magazine, GQ, The Times and similar publications. She is directing a music clip and a short film, and shooting a number of portrait sessions with various actors as a personal project. "I am excited about all those, but of course I need to continue to generate paid commissions to fund the personal projects," she said. "So I am actively seeking commissioned work."
Crew for the winning image's shoot:
Producer - Anne Robinson
Toby & Pete - Re-touchers www.tobyandpete.com
Emma Wood – Stylist, represented by Reload Agency www.reloadagency.com
Debbie Muller- Hair and Make-up www.debbiem.com
Andrew Fearman - assistant
Pascale Roux de Bezieux - Assistant
Animal House (Sydney) for giving us monkey Tammi